WCO Conference on Strategic Trade Controls Enforcement

27 November 2012

WCO Conference on Strategic Trade Controls Enforcement

Date:

14 - 16 November 2012

Location:

WCO Headquarters, rue du Marche 30, 1210-B Brussels

Background:

The possibility of terrorist groups or extremists gaining access to sensitive chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons, or materials or strategic and dual use goods represents a clear and present danger to both domestic and international security.

The international community is engaged in counter-proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction through various international instruments such as the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1540.  This key international instrument, adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council in 2004, imposes binding obligations on all States to adopt legislation to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means of delivery, and establish appropriate domestic controls over related materials to prevent their illicit trafficking.  The Resolution specifically stipulates that States shall “…develop and maintain appropriate effective border controls and law enforcement efforts to detect, deter, prevent and combat the illicit trafficking and brokering”.

Customs has the responsibility for monitoring and controlling of all cross-border flows of goods, people, and conveyances.  As such, together with its law enforcement partners, it has a critical role in reducing risks associated with cross-border trafficking of the above-mentioned items and prevention of such trafficking has increasingly become a priority for Customs administrations across the globe.

During the 31st Session of the Enforcement Committee, several Customs administrations took the floor and outlined the various challenges they face in relation to strategic trade controls.  As part of the discussion, the WCO Secretariat was encouraged to explore ways to support Members. 

To overcome the challenges associated with strategic trade controls enforcement, I have the pleasure to inform you that the WCO will be organizing a conference for Members on the topic 14 – 16 November 2012 at the WCO Headquarters.  The main objective of the conference is to raise awareness about strategic trade controls and the risks CBRN and dual use goods pose if diverted to unauthorized use in international supply chains.  The Conference also explores different components of effective strategic trade controls and control systems.

Objectives

The objective of the Conference is to raise awareness about strategic trade controls and about the risks CBRN and dual use goods pose if diverted to unauthorized use in international supply chains.  The Conference also explores different components of effective strategic trade controls and control systems including outlining challenges associated them.

Agenda  English French

Topics covered during the Conference

  • What are strategic trade controls and what do they address?
  • What types of international legal arrangements and strategic trade controls regimes exist?
  • What type of role Customs plays in strategic trade controls enforcement?
  • What are the challenges Customs administrations are facing regarding strategic trade controls (commodity identification, competing priorities, FTZs etc.)?
  • What types of good practices exist and where do the biggest gaps exist?
  • Why is it important for Customs to cooperate both nationally and internationally?
  • What is the role of private sector and how should Customs cooperate with industry and supply chain partners to enhance the efficiency of strategic trade controls?
  • What types of technologies can facilitate strategic trade controls enforcement at the front-line?
  • What types of technical assistance programs exist and how can countries tap into the assistance?

Audience

The Conference is designed to bring together participants from WCO Member countries' pertinent national agencies which are responsible strategic trade controls.  The focus of the event will be on Customs but cooperation between Customs and other relevant authorities, such as permit/licensing bodies etc., will be one of the leading themes throughout the conference. N.B!  The maximum capacity of the Conference will be 250 Delegates and an early registration is thus recommended.